Coalition fights anti-immigration party

March 3, 2011 at 7:46 PM
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STOCKHOLM, Sweden, March 3 (UPI) -- Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt says an agreement on Swedish immigration law reform lays the groundwork for "a humane, just and orderly" immigration policy.

The center-right Alliance government -- made up of the Moderates, Christian Democrats, Center Party and Liberal Party -- struck an agreement with the Green Party on immigration intended to undermine efforts by the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats, TT reported.

"This lays the long-term groundwork for a humane, just, and orderly migration policy," Reinfeldt said Thursday during a news conference. "We're going to continue on the road toward humanity and order, this is a choice which closes the door on xenophobic forces."

The framework includes provisions allowing illegal immigrants the right to receive healthcare and education and would improve methods for identifying people who want to reunite with family members who have relocated in Sweden.

Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Akesson said the policy changes will benefit his party "in the long run."

"The question is whether there is a popular mandate for these policies," he told TT. "I don't think there is."

Akesson's far-right Sweden Democrats won seats in Sweden's Riksdag in September after campaigning on anti-immigration policies.

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